If you are —or happen to be— in Paris until 21st October, you may want to get some swaggy Californian vibes at the heart of Saint Germain des Près.
Le Bon Marché, probably the most iconic luxury department store in Paris, strikes again with it’s pop-up exhibition of the year. After ticking the boxes of Brooklyn, Japan, Brazil and London, they have now landed in Los Angeles, bringing some sunny Californian state of mind to the City of Lights.
That also leads me to an observation. It’s quite clear to me now —after living in Paris for a year now— that french people have a deep admiration, if not obsession, with Japanese culture. Their structured organisation, impeccable politeness and exquisite gourmet cuisine. However, they don’t hesitate to throw themselves to the other side of the spectrum by flirting with the 3 B’s of Los Angeles: beau, bio et bronze. But this is a subject for another post. Let’s dive into what you”ll find in Los Angeles Rive Gauche.
The pop-up exhibit unfolds into the different sides of LA amongst the three floors of the department store, while a cafe, a flower store and a tattoo-rendez-vous corner are also included as part of the experience.
What I found personally interesting is how certain codes that are strongly related to an urban, street-wear-style-meets-Baywatch has been Rive Gauchisée for this retail installation. All to say that I never imagined myself dribbling and spinning a basket ball in the middle of LBM (cause when in LA, use acronyms).
The cafe on the 1st floor —those cakes and pastries looked pretty tasty— and an all-pink decoration are highly Instagrammable. They surely got the Museum of Ice Cream shaking and cracking some new ideas as you read these lines. For the product assortment, you got clothing, swimwear, witty-deco LA-inspired, sneakers, summer props, house deco, skincare products and else. Don’t hesitate to stroll around a bit while getting into the vibe.
Let’s say the intensity of it all sky-rockets at the last floor. A full-size zeppelin welcomes you into the Wild West and some bad ass rock n’ roll scenario. Personally, this came as a surprise, one that reminded me to my rebel adolescent years listening to Van Halen, Guns n’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne. There was just one bummer in all of this: taxidermy. Get why they chose to use it, but it just gives the wrong image from the outside. And some goosebumps. Just a word of advise.